MAN Truck & Bus
MAN Truck & Bus
A whole industry is alarmed. While demand is ever greater due to the rising flow of goods, more and more often, even the most modern truck is left at a standstill because of a shortage of drivers. Currently in Germany, some 80,000 driver’s seats are empty, and the IRU, the world road transport organisation, says that this figure will rise to around 185,000 by 2027. The consequence is that companies are having to turn down orders, and there is a risk of supply bottlenecks. Neither economists nor politicians have yet found any recipe for success in tackling the driver shortage.
As a commercial vehicle manufacturer, we want to make our contribution to ensuring that this is valued across society with the 'Driving for Germany' initiative.
CEO of MAN Truck & Bus Deutschland GmbH
MAN Truck & Bus is taking the initiative, and that initiative is called Drive for Germany. Working with the drivers’ club Trucker’s World, MAN Financial Services, the Bundesverband Wirtschaft, Verkehr und Logistik (BWVL – Federal Economics, Transport and Logistics Association) and other partners from the transport and logistics sector, the commercial vehicle manufacturer wants to increase appreciation for professional truck drivers and brush up the image of the profession.
“The pandemic has starkly revealed what an essential role truck drivers play in our society. As a commercial vehicle manufacturer, we would like to use the Drive for Germany initiative to help to raise appreciation of this in wider society,” says Christoph Huber, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus Deutschland GmbH and one of the idea generators of the initiative. “At the same time, we see it as our responsibility to do all that we can to sustainably improve the day-to-day working lives of drivers.”
On the subject of sustainable improvements, the initiative fits in well with the decision to embed the subject of sustainability in MAN’s corporate strategy for the first time. The 2021 Sustainability Report produced by the long-established Munich-based company also detailed People and Culture as an area for action. This includes innovative and flexible working landscapes – aspects that will also make the truck driver profession more attractive.
So you see, the focus at MAN is on truck drivers – at the end of the day, that’s who we design the trucks for. MAN has also joined the Responsible Trucking initiative, which aims to improve road freight working conditions and compliance with legal regulations. This is also mentioned in the 2021 Sustainability Report.
have so far provided trailers on which the nationwide initiative to address the lack of drivers can be promoted on a large scale.
The Drive for Germany initiative kicked off in September with the presentation at the IAA Transportation 2022 event in Hanover, under the slogan: “We’re moving Germany”. So far, some 77 partner companies have provided trailers on which the nationwide initiative to address the lack of drivers can be promoted on a large scale. The whole thing will be accompanied by a range of communications measures to raise awareness of the topic across the broadest possible spectrum.
On the whole, however, the driver shortage is not just an economic problem, but a political one too – and one that needs an urgent solution. The starting points are better potential earnings, fair competition in the road freight industry, safe and well-lit truck parking areas with clean sanitary facilities and more family-friendly working hours, including part-time working. Good female role models are also needed, if the proportion of women in the industry is to be increased from 1.9 per cent.
Above all though, the 500,000 professional truck drivers in the country must be better appreciated. At the end of the day, it is they who secure the delivery chains and with them our supplies. They ensure that the things we need every day will reach the supermarkets, shops and pharmacies tomorrow too.
We see it as our responsibility to do everything we can to improve drivers' everyday working lives in the long term.
Text Christian Jeß
Photos MAN, iStockphoto, Shutterstock